Monday, June 29, 2015

Don't Eat the Cobbler!

 "Yeah, you just go ahead and touch that hairdo Mr. Prairie Dog, and you can forget about my signing petitions to save your furry ass from angry farmers. Yeah, go on-see if I mean it. And what's with the bandit mask anyway? It makes you look like a dick. Don't touch my hair."

Outfit Particulars:

Barkcloth 1970's dress (late 60's maybe?)-thrifted in Massachusetts decades ago
1960's handbag-Goodwill
White cork heeled sandals-K Mart
Bangles-all over
Hair flower-Tiff and Tam
1970's Triffari necklace-Hand-Me-Ups
Fragrance-None, I think it was the prairie dog.
 The gardens are in full-bloom at the Swanson library. I just adore that place.
 Our flowers are a bit slow this year, so I'm enjoying theirs as we wait.

 The Georgia peaches have arrived.
 What the hell?!
                                                            Don't eat the cobbler!
Yeah, I have no idea what goes on down south, and I really don't want to find out.
Uh oh, I think we picked up a zombie along the way.
 Outfit Particulars:

White dress-Gordman's about 8 years ago
Gold sandals-Goodwill
Enid Collins bag-Antique mall
1970's necklace-Hand-Me-Ups
1950's clip earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
1950's milk glass coil bracelet-Hand-Me-Ups

 Pretty detail on the hem, but it doesn't photograph well. This dress is about three sizes too big on top, but on a hot, humid day it is just the most comfortable thing in the world to wear. No one yelled, "Watch the sideboob" at me, so I think I was able to remain decent. Mostly.

This is a dual holiday week with Canada Day and the Fourth of July. I'm not Canadian, though my grandmother did live in Canada before settling in the United States. As it was the first stop for my Dad's side of the family in the New World, we observe it as a day to celebrate our neighbo(u)rs, and appreciate the refuge they have given to so many. And it is a great excuse to eat poutine and butter pies. Thanks, Canada-we love you guys!

We live in a location that permits us to see fireworks displays from all over the city and surrounding areas easily (higher elevation helps). We'll have our annual July 4th picnic at the park (weather permitting) and then head next door in the evening to watch the panoramic view of fireworks from the lawn of the college next door. Last year, we had it to ourselves (and the security guards) and that was great. No crowds, drunks, idiots shooting off guns (because that's how idiots celebrate around here) just us and a city's worth of entertainment two minutes from home. Danny's been having some terrible asthma following what we thought was just a simple cold, and the last place I want him is in the poor-air-quality of a fireworks show. There's something to be said for living upwind of nearly everything. 

I promised to bake something from my terrifying Americana collection of cookery books for the celebration (they will NOT eat jelly (Jell-O), so that rules out quite a lot of traditional holiday desserts). I have a few days to come up with something. 

Not shown-three librarians watching laughing from the desk as I make an idiot of myself. Oh well, they know me. 

Friday, June 26, 2015

My Son, Little Edie

He won the costume contest. We both did, in fact. The prize was a movie poster from the film. Upon wining, Danny yelled loudly to the audience, "I fed the caaat." I felt like Mother of the Year! It was better than his threat to start screaming, "Is there a social worker in the house? Please help me!"
 So that was fun. If nothing else, Grey Gardens should serve as a warning about what happens to people that eat in bed...
 ...and feed wildlife (don't tell Blondin).

You should have married John Paul Getty.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Don't feed the raccoons, and don't eat in bed.


Equality.  It shouldn't have taken this long.

Nebraska, one of the last hold-out states defending a right to discriminate will now begin issuing same-sex marriage licences.


A Riot of Bright (Mostly)

Orson the wombat wanted to do a post full of colourful items. He's been dying to wear the Mexican tourist skirt, so I let him. It needs a few alterations before I can wear it, but being a wombat, he's less particular. I really like this skirt, and the tasteful design. I like loud and gaudy too, but this is more versatile. The previous owner did some repairs on the sides that were a mess. I need to pull it all out and start over, but the good news is that it is fixable. Please people, if you can't fix something, take it to someone that can before you ruin beautiful old items like this. Sure, I take manicure scissors to polyester sleeves all the time, but something worth keeping is worth fixing correctly. Lecture over, I'll turn things back over to the wombat.
 So what's next, Orson?
How about a colourful Peter Popovitch skirt from the 80's?
Oh, good selection, Orson! I do love this skirt, though I wish it weren't made of jersey as it starts to pill . I've used a sweater comb on it, and it is still holding up, which I guess is good for something that's essentially a 30 year old tee shirt. Unbelievably, Popovitch is now a collectible designer. Most of his stuff wasn't this nice, though it was bright.
What else have we to show?
 Oh, I remember that handbag! I should use it more. The problem with finding out you have a pricey designer bag is that you become fearful of using it. Looking at it, I wouldn't pay real money for a bag like this, but $3.99 at the Goodwill I'll do.
 I mean, the lining is crappy nylon. For an expensive bag I'd hope for decent lining-but that's me.

 This colourful leather bag doesn't have a label, so I feel free to use it whenever I like. Fringe is "in" this season, though it never was quite, "Out" of my wardrobe.
 Orson, you found my yellow snakeskin clutch! Good work.
Now, that's how to line a handbag. Look at that quality zipper-and that leather. Also from Goodwill.
 These ceramic bird plaques adorn the hallway outside Danny's room.
They're the first thing he sees getting up in the morning, and the last thing before bed. We need to get some, "Museum of Kitsch" labels on them, to keep consistent with the rest of the house.
Well that's all interesting, Orson but do you have anything really bright to show us?
 I wish that dress still fit. I only keep it because every few years I get really sick or something, and it fits again.
 Victor Costa made such gorgeous clothes.
Baring a serious case of food poisoning, I don't see myself fitting into this dress again any time soon. Sure Orson, go ahead and wear it.

So that was the promised riot of bright, but now I have some black and white. I kicked Orson out of the room as he kept complaining. I took my earrings back from him as well. Imagine! I just bought these. He's worse than Danny as the kid only steals my clothes, and leaves the earrings alone.
 Our weather is still being stupid, so the day starts with a jacket.
 But by mid-morning, I'm ready to die in the 80% humidity, so this crepe-y-thing-y has to see me through, and to hell with anyone that doesn't like looking at it. Kind of racy for Omaha, I know. Hell, it was kind of racy for the K Mart I bought it from, but there it was tucked in between the elastic waist trousers and embellished boat-neck tees. I wore it with my terribly sexy elastic-waist pleated polyester skirt.
Yes, I wore a bra with it, though it does nearly look like part of the top. Ordinarily I'd frown on visible bra straps, but yeah, 80% humidity. I feel gross just typing that. It isn't even that hot, just muggy. There's mushrooms growing in all the mulch around the neighbourhood, Danny's already had a mould-induced asthma attack and a trip to the urgent care, and my throat is so scratchy and swollen I feel like I licked a cat or something (I'm very allergic to cats). I haven't been licking cats, because that would be disgusting, and anyway, I'm allergic. Yep, it is humid, so I wore a shockingly scanty top.

Errr, there's just the tiniest bit of middle aged boobage peeking out there. I can't decide if that's too much, or not enough. I look like my grandmother who was always peering down her shirt, or swimsuit to see if the boobs needed adjusting. My sister would spot her and shout, "Don't worry Alice, they're still there!" And she'd look just like this, trying to look like she wasn't looking, but everyone knew she was. Then she'd reach in and hoist 'em back into place.

Tonight is the Grey Gardens party/viewing at Film Streams. We have our costumes ready to go, and I'll be sure to get photos. It is a strange sort of bonding when you have to explain to your ten year old son how to pull on a pair of stockings. He's interested in theatre, so I'm sure he has many years of wearing tights ahead of him...they just won't be leopard print. Probably. People keep insisting on doing these oddball Shakespeare stagings, so you never know.

This awful weather has me thinking Little Edie was onto something going sans-pants. I'm not sure I could rock a swimming costume and tights, but with the right shirt wrapped around my hair, perhaps.

I fed the wombaaaat.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Dress I Can't Part With

 Dear Blue and White Dress,

We've been together for a long time now. I keep trying to break up with you, but here we are, still suffering together. You're loud, unflattering, you make me uncomfortable, but when I try to leave you in a bag at the Goodwill, somehow you escape at the last moment. We both know this isn't working, why must we suffer in this ill-fitting, dysfunctional relationship where we just hate ourselves after each date? We only see each other once, perhaps twice a year-why must we put ourselves through this? I know you'd be happy with a much older woman, and I've been eyeing a psychedelic maxi at the thrift store.
 Sigh, I don't think we can go on like this. I'm ready to try (retail) therapy. Something must change-perhaps we could shorten your sleeves, or try something new like a bit of rick rack at your hem? I mean, if you're willing to work with me...perhaps?
 Oh dress, you're so nicely sewn-I swear it isn't you. I swear it! I'm know...short.
 My mother told me it would never work with you, and I really should have listened! Think of all the crying in the mirror it would have saved. There's only so much cryng in the mirror a person can do. You understand, I'm sure.
Please don't give me that look. I know it isn't deliberate, I'm not blaming you.
Fine. I'm willing to give you one last chance, but I think we both know this is going to end in a bin bag at the Goodwill.

Outfit Particulars:

Polyester crepe dress-Can't remember, old
Vintage ostrich skin handbag-Goodwill
Vintage milk glass clip earrings-Hand-Me-Ups
Hair bow-made by my mother-80's
Lippy-Wine with Everything (Revlon)

Like the song says, "Breaking up is hard to do."

I really think it is the sleeves.

Guerlain Oeillet 000-Review

Crappy picture from the Internet.
Several months ago, I purchased a very small sample of Guerlain Oeillet 000 from the Perfumed Court. I was skeptical that a fragrance more than a century old would have much to offer other than some turned base notes. Ten dollars for .4 ml is expensive, but I've spent more than that on a slice of cake at a posh tearoom, and I prefer perfume to cake most days.

I've never experienced a perfume that made me weep-until this one. It is so beautiful, and so different, that smelling it on my person became an emotional experience-and I'm so not an emotional person, at all. Danny stood there trying it with me, and though he didn't burst into tears, he did get very quiet before retreating to another room to experience it privately.

I have no idea what Oeillet 000 (the triple zeros are for a triple concentration of the carnation) would have smelled like when it was new, and there aren't any official notes available. To my nose, there's something else there as it is sweeter than you'd expect a carnation to be. In fact, there's hardly anything of the spiciness I love so much in carnation scents (I mourned a bit when Roger and Gallet stopped selling the soap in the US). I could swear I smell vanilla (or Tonka) but I admit that might just be me imposing Guerlain on Guerlain.  This is different. Mr. ETB pointed out that I'm wearing a perfume from before the World Wars, and that it suggests a time so far gone it is hard to approach. I suppose there might be something to that but honestly, I wasn't thinking of the history when I opened the bottle-I was thinking of smelling a Holy Grail Guerlain (I joined the Cult of Guerlain so long ago I'm practically a Cultist Emeritus). What's the magic ingredient here? Who know. Perhaps, age?

I ignored Mr. ETB's urging to go secure a few more decants before it is gone forever as I can't see myself wearing Oeillet 000. There's something too awful about witnessing the extinction of something be it a white rhinoceros, and Ivory Billed Woodpecker, an aged bottle of brandy, or a rare, vintage perfume. Sure there might still be a few bottles left in the wild but for practical purposes, it is gone. I may well change my mind by morning and buy as much as they'll permit, but I doubt it. Who wants that sort of emotional baggage with a perfume? What if it went off in my care? I don't want that responsibility.

There are still decants available if you're interested in smelling a nearly extinct Guerlain from over a century ago. I can promise you it is beautiful, but I can't promise you won't fall apart when you try it. I guess that is part of the experience. I do recommend trying it when you can be alone to spend some time with it . I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience Oeillet 000, and I have enough left for a few more wears (a little goes a long way with this one) but I don't see that happening soon. I've never felt as uncomfortable with a perfume as I was with this one.

Do you have a Holy Grail fragrance you've been searching years for?

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Recently Acquired Shoes and Bags

 I am not in love with Lulu Guinness bags (or their prices) but I understand some people are fanatical about them. This cost me $3.99 at Goodwill. I'm not keeping it for myself, but at that price I couldn't very well leave it (the bags sell for hundreds of dollars).
I've had good luck lately with bags and shoes at the thrifts.
But first, let's pause for a photo of a butterfly because it is finally summer. Happy Summer, everyone! Well, in the Northern hemisphere anyway. Happy Winter to our friends in the south.
 OK, enough butterflies, here's a carpet bag I found yesterday. I'm not in love with the handles, so I plan to replace them with wooden dowels. Wooden dowels with gigantic wooden spheres at the ends. You thought I was going to say knobs, didn't you? I know you did.
 This Helga-Vinyltastic pale blue bag screamed at me (it did, but I can't repeat what it screamed) in Goodwill. $1.99 Who am I to argue with a screaming vinyl bag (and at that price)? What's funny is that I found it among the housewares, not with the other bags. My guess is someone picked it up, carried it around, and changed their mind before abandoning it between crock pots and tea trays. Their loss, eh?
This white, patent leather bag screamed as well, but more politely. It still has the original mirror tucked into an inner pocket. There was a hair grip and a gum wrapper inside as well, so now I know the previous owner was blonde, and liked sugarless gum.
 Now, let's pause for some Americana. I rarely see painted windows on stores these days, as there are now peel-and-stick items to do the job quicker (and cheaper). Still, nothing looks as good as a hand-painted window (to me anyway). This was at the Thriftway Grocery in Plattsmouth, NE. Independence Day is July 4th, which explains the patriotic themes (because nothing is more American than cooking meat over fire, or playing games where a hard, small ball is lobbed at your face at high speed).
 Probably not veggie burgers.
 I can hit a baseball okay, but catching one is another story.
I didn't go inside (the boys needed the toilets) but they tell me it has the largest selection of potato chips/crisps they've ever seen in one place. If that isn't a reason to visit a small town in Nebraska, I don't know what is. We were in Plattsmouth to check out the emergence of the 17 year cicadas. We heard plenty of them, but didn't see any as they've yet to finish mating and fall from the trees (quite a sight if you've never witnessed it).
 Back to the bags. This eel-skin bag is much nicer than the photo implies. I always wanted a bag like that in the 80's, but couldn't afford one. See? If you wait long enough, the thrift stores give you everything you ever wanted. To be fair, most of the time it won't take 35 years.
 This bag is a shiny, patent-like material that isn't photographing well. The colour is much deeper red in life.
 I did have a bag like this in Junior High. I wore it to pieces,and plan to do the same with this one. I rarely buy shoulder bags as they hurt the damaged disc in my neck, but if I don't overload it, I think this one will be manageable. Inside, I found the notes from a funeral service in 1977 for someone from a very small town here in Nebraska. He lived to a ripe old age of 97, and I'm guessing it was the last time this bag was used. Kind of casual for a funeral, to be honest, even in 1977 farm country.
 A gigantic vinyl bag with a super clasp. I like brown for Autumn, and I'm sure this will find plenty of use. No clues about the owner here, but I'm sure she wore only the finest polyester double knit pull-on trousers. I'll bet this bag saw plenty of, "Early Bird" dinner specials at the neighbourhood greasy spoon. An extra large bag is handy when you're stuffing packets of sugar and the contents of the bread basket inside whilst trying to avoid notice. Small towns you know, people talk.
This 60's (late 50's?) snakeskin bag was a bargain at an antique mall in Lincoln, NE. I don't ordinarily like snakeskin, but the bag was so well made, and inexpensive it would have been foolish to leave it. The scalloped edge is the opening, and it pops open on a sort of hidden hinge. 
 Nature break! Who do you suppose lives in there? My money is on a squirrel. Possibly a bird. I was leaning over a rail to photograph it when Danny suggested I not look down. I did of course, and though I'm not afraid of heights, I am afraid of losing my new camera down a chasm.
 We stopped by Fontenelle Forest to celebrate Father's Day with a short hike. Everything was in bloom, and it smelled heavenly when we stepped out of the car. We did meet up with a kestrel and the bird's handler, but it carried on so,  I had to assume it didn't like me, and we moved along. Fine with me-I don't like it either! I think birds/raptors can tell.

 Nothing says, "We love you" like making someone walk around in the heat, humidity, and mosquito-infested woods. Danny made his papa a lovely hand-illustrated book, and we bought him some pajamas (which aren't so easy to find for a 6'4 man).
 That wraps up handbags, but here's a velvet and satin hat. I found this at New Life Thrift-I think it was around $5.00 The netting is in decent shape, but the hat needs some re-shaping. I'm sure a couple wears will sort things out.
 Great as the handbags have been of late, the shoes have been even better. I feel like these deserve a drumroll so.....
 I will probably move these along to someone that will appreciate them more than I do. Again, for $1.99 I couldn't really leave them. Betsy Johnson never really spoke to me, and I don't know why. Something about her clothes always seems to be trying too hard to show how punk they are, or maybe they're slightly too fashionable for my tastes. Whatever it was, I can at least appreciate that these are well-made shoes, and someone will love them.
 But a great pair of Italian-made slingbacks don't just speak to me, they practically serenade me. In a gondola. With a scoop of gelato. Or spumoni. I'm not picky. Except when it comes to shoes, of course.
 I need brown boots, and these despite the heel are comfortable to walk in. They appeared to have been lightly worn, perhaps once.I like that there's tread on the bottom because at my age if I fall on the ice, I'm going to break a hip. I like this steampunk-y look, sort of Victorian, sort of 70's hooker.
Square toes go in and out of fashion, but I never really abandoned them. These are from the early 2000's, but I suspect they will work well with a vintage wardrobe. They're made by Areosoles, and are oh-so-comfortable. I don't know if your thrift stores are like this, but I seem to find all my winter gear in summer.
Finally, I'll leave you with a look at the, "Staging Area" beneath my piano. When new bags (and shoes) come in they are vacuumed out with a crevice attachment, and then wiped clean, polished, etc. I then seal them in plastic bags where they sit for a couple weeks to make sure nothing tries escaping. Touch wood, it hasn't happened, but it would be much easier to detect a problem here, than in the cupboard. Everything else gets washed immediately upon being brought home. As a bonus, my piano is at the foot of the stairs, so when the time comes to move this up, it is in a handy spot (and one I see all the time preventing me from forgetting to deal with it). I like having everything in one place (I am fanatical about clutter in my living space) where I can deal with it.

If you're interested (rather than bored with it) I might post several pieces of my handbag collection from time to time. I've been able to amass an interesting (I think) variety of bags for very little money. As vintage collecting goes, the shoes and bags are typically the bargains.

A swarm of butterflies around the car. I didn't open the windows for better photos because...well, obviously! I must have seen more Red Admiral butterflies today than I have in my entire life (no exaggeration). We drove extra-slow so that no butterflies would be harmed.

I hope your weekend was as nice as mine, and Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there.